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Dodgers MLB Draft: Jaron Elkins, Noah Ruen, Sterling Patick sign over-slot deals, per reports

LA has signed a reported 17 draft picks to date

Noah Ruen was drafted by the Dodgers in the 12th round in 2023 out of Tyler Junior College.
Noah Ruen was drafted by the Dodgers in the 12th round in 2023 out of Tyler Junior College.
Photo credit: Tyler Junior College

More and more draft signing bonuses are coming in, along with the tweets and Instagram posts with players signing their first professional contract. Of note Friday morning are a few Dodgers bonuses that are over slot value.

Jaron Elkins was a multi-sport start at Goodpasture Christian High School in Tennessee, starring as a running back, in the outfield, behind the plate, and even pitched a little bit. The Dodgers drafted Elkins in the eighth round as an outfielder, and possibly occasionally at catcher.

Another high school pick by the Dodgers was left-hander Sterling Patick in the 18th round out of West Hills High in West Covina, a mere 25 miles from Dodger Stadium.

He opted to turn pro rather than head to college at UCSB by getting a bonus similar to the slot value of an early sixth-round pick.

For players drafted after the 10th round, any part of the signing bonus above $150,000 counts against the bonus pool. For Patick, that means he counts $197,500 against the Dodgers’ bonus pool.

Which brings us to an interesting point from Day 1 of the draft, after the Dodgers selected Texas high school outfielder Kendall George with their first pick. The team planned to take George in the second round but shifted gears after another first-pick target was taken. It was clear from that night George would sign a below-slot deal, and the outfielder’s $1,847,500 signing bonus was almost exactly halfway between the recommended slot value for the 36th and 60th overall picks.

On that first night of the draft, Dodgers vice president of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino said of the then-upcoming final two days of the draft, “We do think we’re going to go out and hopefully get more players and more high school guys, and George gives us a little flexibility in doing that.”

The Dodgers drafted a total of six high school players, their most in the first 20 rounds of a draft since 2015. Third-round pick Brady Smith, a pitcher out of Tennessee signed for slot value, and 19th-round pick Spencer Green, a pitcher from Washington, signed for $150,000, the maximum bonus for post 10th-rounders that doesn’t count against the bonus pool.

But if we look at the other high school picks, the amount over slot for sixth-round shortstop Bryan González ($107,400), Eklins ($218,200), and Patick ($197,500) add up to $523,100, almost equal to the $515,200 that George was under slot.

George did in fact give the Dodgers the flexibility they wanted.

Another over-slot sign reported Friday was right-hander Noah Ruen, a funky sidearm right-hander who put up a 0.82 ERA and 64 strikeouts in in 43⅔ innings for Tyler Junior College in Texas. He signed for a reported $247,500 per Jim Callis of, of which $97,500 counts against the bonus pool.

As of Friday morning, the Dodgers have reportedly signed 17 of their 22 picks, though the team has announced none of them yet.

Fourteenth-round pitcher Jaxon Jelkin opted not to sign and instead stay in college to pitch for Houston. DJ Uiagalelei, the quarterback taken in the 20th round with hopes he might one day decide to pitch, is more of a long-term play.

That leaves effectively three unsigned players before Tuesday’s deadline to sign — Dylan Campbell, an outfielder from the University of Texas drafted in just after the fourth round with the comp pick for Tyler Anderson signing with the Angels, Javen Coleman, 16th-round LSU pitcher, and Luke Fox, 17th-round Duke right-hander who did not pitch in 2023 after Tommy John surgery.

At the moment the Dodgers are a reported $187,100 over their bonus pool, roughly 2.57 percent. They have another $176,630 in overslot money to spend without going more than five percent over, which would incur draft pick loss.